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The Dunedin City Council has begun the process to recruit a new chief executive, after Jim Harland's resignation in October.
Eight recruitment firms have submitted proposals to take on the work, but it is unlikely a new chief executive will begin before May next year.
A report to Monday's council meeting from human resources manager Bruce Miller said Mr Harland's resignation would take effect from January 21, and an acting chief executive would need to be appointed in the meantime.
After a recruitment firm was appointed, the process would proceed under Mayor Dave Cull's direction, with an appointment committee of four councillors.
Mr Harland will become the New Zealand Transport Agency's southern regional director.